Pear Eve’s Pudding
Claire Ptak Brings California Sweetness to an Old-Fashioned English Dessert; Plus, An Apology to Apples and Eve
Your chances of making, buying, eating, serving and/or being served pumpkin, apple or pecan pie in a couple of weeks are very high.
I say this with all the confidence in the world and only anecdotal evidence. But I stand by my statement, for I, and most likely, you, have both hosted and participated in Thanksgiving dinners for decades.
There were all kinds of pies at Star Market in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1977 as shown in the photo above.
But where is a pie or dessert to grace the Thanksgiving table made with luscious pears? Comice pears, aka “Christmas Pears” feature in many holiday gift baskets in December, but they deserve a starring role in November as well.
Claire Ptak, the renowned pastry chef, owner of Violet Cakes in London (http://www.violetcakes.com ) and a native Californian has just the thing.
Eve’s Pudding. But make it with pears instead of apples.
In her lovely book Love Is A Pink Cake (Link: Here) —its title taken from a 1952 book of illustrations by Andy Warhol—Claire gives us the lowdown on Eve’s Pudding.
An old-fashioned English dessert, Eve’s pudding is usually made with apples (hence the biblical name).
This fluffy sponge topping works well with any fruit you might put into a cobbler, crumble or crisp, so I put it into the California section of the book, where we make those a lot.
Since we’re talking Apples and Eve here, I did a little digging and came across this piece from NPR, How the Apple Became the Forbidden Fruit. If you have a few minutes to read, it’s a doozy. Apparently, nowhere in the Bible is the word ‘apple’ used to describe the fruit of the tree in relation to Eve or The Garden. There was confusion in the translation from Latin. From NPR:
As it turned out, the words for “evil” and “apple” are the same: malus.
Then along comes the 17th Century English poet John Milton who picks up the forbidden-fruit-apple-torch in his epic poem Paradise Lost. Again, from NPR:
As a widely read canonical work, Paradise Lost was influential in cementing the role of apple in the Fall story.
A sincere apology to apples and a special shout-out and apology to Eve for enduring centuries of being blamed for absolutely everything.
I used the recipe in Claire’s book, but I also found a link in the Guardian which includes Pear Eve’s and another of Claire’s pear recipes. You can find them: HERE.
One of the great things about this dessert (besides being delicious) is that it’s something different in the mix with all the pies on the holiday table. The sponge cake on top is so, so good — and the Comice pears are perfect.
In the picture of the plated dessert at top, you’ll notice that it’s finished with a puddle of cold heavy whipping cream. It soaks into everything and the flavors and textures come together in every beautiful bite. I hope you’ll try this, my ultimate recommendation is that I’ll be making it again very soon. 🍐
From Kate McDermott and Anne Byrn
This week two very talented and terrific friends shared posts I know you’ll love. They’ve both written many cookbooks that are great company in my kitchen year ‘round, but that I especially turn to at holiday time.
First,talks Apples, Art and Louisa May Alcott in Apples, Apples, Apples:
And if you’re looking for a book about how to make great pie, Kate’s James Beard Award nominated Art of the Pie is fantastic.
Link: HERE 🥧has got you covered when it comes to Thanksgiving side dishes. I agree with Anne: It’s all about the sides:
After Thanksgiving we go right into what I think of as the Olympics of Cookie Baking: December. Anne has written dozens of cooking and baking books, and this book in particular is an inspiration during the holidays.
Link: HERE 🍪
Many thanks to the always gracious Claire Ptak for her help and guidance with this week’s post. To follow Claire and Violet Cakes London on Instagram, just click on the photo below.
Take care, everyone.